The PGM producer expects to invest up to $820m of the amount for expanding its processing facilities across Southern Africa


Implats unveiled details of its five-year capital investment programme. (Credit: Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay)

South African mining company Impala Platinum (Implats) said that it will commit nearly ZAR50bn ($3.43bn) to its capital investment programme over the next five years.

The investment capital will be allocated to its mining and processing assets across stay-in-business operations as well as new growth projects. The details of this were revealed by Implats during the South African Investment Conference.

Implats CEO Nico Muller said: “Southern Africa is the world’s largest source of primary platinum group metals supply, and Implats’ investment in increased beneficiation capacity and extended life-of mine development at several of our operations will position the country more competitively as a global mine-to-market PGM producer.”

The company expects to invest up to ZAR12bn ($820m) for expanding its processing facilities across Southern Africa.

The investment will be made into its South African and Zimbabwean smelting and refining complexes. It will benefit the production in the region, decrease the environmental footprint of its beneficiation capacity, and directly strengthen and boost local beneficiation, said the miner.

According to Implats, an initial amount of around $521m will be used for expanding existing smelting capacity in Zimbabwe and for building an SO2 abatement plant for mitigating the impacts on air quality.

The miner revealed that access to hydropower along with power from a 35MW solar plant, which will be increased in a phased manner to 185MW, will help decrease the environmental footprint for its Zimbabwean smelting facilities.

The expansion work in Zimbabwe will allow for an additional 600,000 6E platinum group metals (PGM) ounces per year. After smelting, the produced PGM will be sent to the company’s South African processing facilities for more refining and in support of local beneficiation.

Implats’ South African processing facilities will see an investment of an additional ZAR4.4bn ($300m) towards their improvement.

Over the next few years, the company has also confirmed plans to inject over ZAR8bn ($550m) in its South African mining operations.

The miner, in partnership with African Rainbow Minerals, will put in ZAR5.7bn ($390m) for constructing the new Merensky project at the Two Rivers’ platinum mine in South Africa.

Implats also intends to invest ZAR5.1bn ($350m) in its Marula mine to increase the life-of-mine by nearly 17 years, while expanding capacity by around 40,000 6E PGM ounces per annum.

The miner has also been pursuing a takeover of Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), a rival South African platinum group metals producer.